In recent years, the popularity of online businesses has exploded, with more and more people choosing to start their own ventures on the internet. The definition of an online business is any business that uses the internet to operate. You may sell products online or offer online services or information. Many entrepreneurs, graphic designers, digital nomads and content creators operate online businesses.
With 1.79 billion people making online purchases in 2022, it’s safe to say that there is a huge demand for online businesses. Since the COVID pandemic, more and more people are offering their services remotely with 70% of small to mid size businesses building an online presence.
An online business is also a great way to experience more freedom, flexibility, scalability and online potential. If you are looking for a better work life balance, an online business could be the solution.
If you’re still on the fence about starting your own online business, in this guide, we will take a look at the top reasons for starting an online business in 2023 including things to look out for and tips to get started.
20 reasons to start an online business in 2023
- Work from anywhere
- Focus on what’s important to you
- You can start it as a side hustle
- You can reach a global audience
- Scale bigger and faster
- A Range of Business Models to Choose From
- Business can run 24/7
- Increased Earning Potential
- Lower startup costs
- Lower operating costs
- More cost effective Marketing
- The Ability to Measure and Analyze Results
- Ability to Work with Remote Teams
- Large client and consumer base
- Quality customer support
- Access to Technological Advancements
- A Reduced Environmental Impact
- The Opportunity to Innovate
- Anyone can do it
1. Work from anywhere
One of the best perks of starting an online business is the ability to work from absolutely anywhere. Perhaps you’re a digital nomad who wants to see the world or maybe you just want to create a better balance between work and family. Being your own boss is such an empowering opportunity as it allows you to set your own hours and choose a schedule to suit your lifestyle. Sounds tempting, right?
2. Focus on what’s important to you
While running an online business comes with a lot of responsibility and requires plenty of self discipline, there are also lots of benefits. Running your own business means that you can choose to work on the things you care about.
Gone are the days where you have to slog away on something that feels meaningless or boring. As an entrepreneur, you can take back control of your career and start focusing on the things you actually enjoy. Not only are you likely to work more efficiently and increase productivity in the workplace, but you will probably notice a difference to your overall well being.
3. You can start it as a side hustle
Starting an online business may sound scary but it doesn’t have to be. Many entrepreneurs start out with a side hustle, alongside another job. For example, you may just want to take on some casual graphic design work, or, start up a blog and see how it goes.
Starting with a side hustle is a nice way to ease yourself into the online business model. You can use online freelancing platforms to build your portfolio and connect with others. It requires far less responsibility than running a full time business and is a great way to find your niche.
4. You can reach a global audience
Wherever you are in the world, an online business has a far wider reach than local businesses. With billions of people making online purchases each year, you have the potential to grow your audience quickly and build relationships with customers from all over the globe. Having a global reach also makes it easier to increase sales and boost audience engagement.
5. Scale bigger and faster
With the ability to reach a global audience, it’s often easier to scale-up an online business. Of course, it still takes time and you will need to plan ahead. Having an online business enables you to monitor analytics, identify trends and follow product performance. By having this information to hand, you will be able to come up with a thorough plan within an efficient time frame. Social media, email marketing, webinars and influencer marketing are other useful ways to scale up your online business.
6. A Range of Business Models to Choose From
There are many different business models you can choose from when starting an online business, such as e-commerce, affiliate marketing, digital products, and more. This means you can find a model that fits your skills, interests, and goals.
7. Business can run 24/7
That’s right! An online business is available to customers 24/7 meaning that you can earn while you sleep!
Businesses who sell online products can make money anytime of day. Ebooks and e-courses are also great opportunities to make money 24/7. If you have your own website, people can also access information like blogs and videos and submit enquiries.
Automation is another great way to save time and increase productivity. Whether it’s automated email sequences or webinar seminars, there are lots of ways you can reduce time with an online business.
Marketing automation includes marketing emails, SMS messages and paid searches. Use a social media scheduling tool to create posts ahead of time. Other types of automation include payment reminders, downloadable documents, a centralised database and password managers.
9. Increased Earning Potential
It may come as a surprise but running an online business can actually increase your earnings. With an online business, you can reach a far wider range of customers, reduce operational costs and sell products and services 24 hours a day. With lower margins, you can enjoy a bigger profit and reduce financial risk.
10. Lower startup costs
Starting up an online business is a great way to reduce expenditure. Find out how much it costs and compare that to a physical store or business. If you’re operating an online business then you won’t need to worry about rental or staffing costs. If you like to travel then you may want to consider moving to a cheaper country. Not only will you get to discover a new place but you will also save on living costs while you earn online. It’s a win, win.
11. Lower operating costs
Just like the point above, your operational costs are likely to be far lower with an online business. If you are working from home or traveling from place to place then you are unlikely to require office space. Many online businesses do not sell physical products so you won’t need to worry about store rentals or packaging and postage.
12. More Cost Effective Marketing
Marketing can often take up a lot of your budget. While marketing is essential for any organisation, online businesses can usually create a more cost effective marketing plan thanks to social media, SEO and email marketing. These online tools are a highly effective way to grow your business at a low cost.
13. The Ability to Measure and Analyze Results
With an online business, you can track and analyze your results in real-time. This allows you to quickly identify what’s working and what’s not, so you can make data-driven decisions to grow your business.
14. Ability to Work with Remote Teams
An online business allows you to work with remote teams from anywhere in the world. This means you can hire the best talent regardless of their location.
15. Large client and consumer base
The great thing about an online business is that you won’t need to rely on foot traffic passing by your store front. Thanks to social media and digital marketing, online business owners now have a huge client and consumer base right at their fingertips. This makes it even easier to grow your brand and attract new clients. To get started, focus on developing a detailed social media marketing strategy targeted directly towards your audience.
16. Quality customer support
Another benefit of using social media is that it can enhance customer service. Customers can now send enquiries on all social media platforms, enabling you to respond effectively and efficiently.
Responding to common questions publicly can help other customers with similar queries, saving you time in the long run. Onsite chats or chatbots are another quick and easy way to respond to a client’s needs.
Offering customers the opportunity to submit questions online and responding in a friendly and timely manner will significantly improve their experience. This can enable you to secure new and returning customers, time and time again.
17. Access to Technological Advancements
Running a business online comes with a lot of technological advancements. Unlike a physical store, you can use artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots and voice assistants to improve customer service and save time.
Along with enhanced internet security and data management, these tools can provide instant communication with customers. Chatbots enable you to provide customer support 24 hours a day by creating automated responses to commonly asked questions. This will save you lots of time, whilst enhancing customer service and reducing the need to hire employees.
18. A Reduced Environmental Impact
Online businesses have a significantly lower environmental impact than traditional businesses. Without the need for a physical store or office, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.
19. The Opportunity to Innovate
Starting an online business allows you to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions to problems. This can be a highly rewarding experience and can lead to significant breakthroughs in your industry.
20. Anyone can do it
While starting up an online business is not easy, anyone can do it. All it takes is a lot of dedication and an online presence. Remember, you don’t have to start out big. Many online businesses start on a low budget as a side hustle or blog. Instead of thinking of all the things holding you back, just get started. After all, too much worrying can stop you from moving forward altogether.
Challenges and Solutions in Starting an Online Business
While there are a lot of great reasons to start an online business, there are also a few things to watch out for. All business ventures come with some challenges along the way. By understanding some of the most common challenges, you will feel better prepared when they arise.
As more and more people recognise the benefits of starting an online business, it’s no surprise that there is a lot of competition out there.
The sheer amount of competition can prevent some businesses from getting off the ground altogether. To avoid falling into that category, it’s important to stay ahead of the game. Before diving head first into your business, undertake some thorough market research. Is it already saturated or is there room for growth? Are there any niches within the market that are worth exploring?
The trick is to stand out from the crowd. Differentiating your business from others is what will set you apart. Finding a niche is a great way to do this because it targets a specific audience and will help you to build an effective marketing plan.
2. Balancing Work and Life
The ability to choose your own hours and work from wherever you want are huge benefits but they also come with their own set of pitfalls.
While being your own boss has many perks, it’s also pretty difficult to switch off. You may start your online business with the intention of creating the perfect work life balance to find that you are working even more hours than before. This happens more often than you may think, especially when first starting out.
The most important thing you can do is to set boundaries. Create a schedule and stick to it. While you may spend more time on developing your business at the beginning, you need to start how you wish to go on. Prioritising self care is far more important than working through the night.
You see, if you put yourself last then you are more likely to experience stress, exhaustion and burn-out which can be detrimental to your business and overall health. Create a schedule with gaps during the day for things that you enjoy. This could include activities such as relaxation, yoga or meditation. Perhaps you struggle to find quality time with the kids or maybe you feel like you’re losing your friends. If this is the case, schedule some time for it and stick to it.
Set boundaries around your working hours and inform clients about your availability. Automated emails or a simple reminder of your hours in your email signature are all great ways to set those boundaries. You should also try to switch off from mobile alerts and social media during downtime. This will reduce the amount of distractions and prevent you from slipping back into work mode.
3. Managing cash flow
Managing cash flow can be challenging when starting up an online business. Spend some time getting on top of your finances by learning how to manage your money. Using a financial management tool can save a lot of stress and time, enabling you to focus on other aspects of your business.
If you’re thinking about starting an online business
If you’re serious about starting an online business, you may want to consider investing some time into an online course. Check out my free masterclass on how to build a successful business that allows you to travel the world. This course is a great way to get started, with tips on choosing a unique business idea, growing your community without having to post on social media everyday and structuring your online business for success and freedom. Best of all, it won’t break the bank.
With so much support and guidance available, starting an online business in 2023 has never been easier. Not only will you be able to work from anywhere in the world but you can also choose your own hours, providing total flexibility around work or life commitments. If you do it right, running an online business can enable you to do the things you enjoy and achieve the right work life balance.
With more and more people using the internet to make online purchases and access information, you can grow and expand your business fast. While taking the leap isn’t easy, it will certainly be worth it. As long as you are aware of any potential challenges and dedicate some time to focus on self care, your online business is likely to thrive.